Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Lavatera × clementii ‘Red Rum’

Lavatera × clementii ‘Red Rum’ | Dwarf Tree Mallow, Shrub Mallow

Lavatera 'Red Rum' is said to be a red-flowering Tree Mallow (as opposed to the common pink). In truth its flowers are a darker than average pink verging toward magenta. Even though it does not have red flowers, it is still a worthwhile shrub. 'Red Rum' is a floriferous perennial shrub with a compact habit, grown as a landscape or accent plant. The close clustering of the flowers makes an intense display.

Historical Information: In 1996 'Red Rum' was bred by English plant breeder Ken Rigney in his garden at Southampton, UK, by open pollination. It is a cross between two other Lavatera cultivars: 'Bredon Springs' and 'Burgundy Wine'. 'Red Rum' is distinguishable from both parents by its darker flower color and compact growth habit. It is often erroneously believed to have been named from the Steven King novel, The Shining. Rather, 'Red Rum' is named after an English steeplechase race horse.